MEETING PLACE: Frontier Motel, Cambridge Idaho
MEETING TIME: 8:00 PM MST
RIVER RATING: Class III-IV
TRIP MILES: 74 Miles (34 on 3-day Snake trip, 40 on 2-day Lochsa trip)
PUT-IN: Base of Hell's Canyon Dam, near ROW island on the Lochsa River
TAKE-OUT: Pittsburg Landing on a 3-day Snake trip and Knife edge on the Lochsa trip (Mile Marker 107)*
*Subject to change, due to water levels
RETURN TIME: 7:00 PM PST Lewiston, Idaho
TRIP LENGTH: 5 days
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 17 (14- 16 on approval)
BOAT TYPE: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft, Inflatable Kayak
TRIP INCLUDES: Services of our talented adventure consultants and professional guides, all meals/beverages as indicated in the itinerary (including beer and wine), all rafting/camping gear, transportation to/from river meeting points.
DOES NOT INCLUDE: 6% Land and water access fee, Airfare/transportation beginning and ending points, shuttling your car from Cambridge to Whitebird(optional), gratuities, travel protection plan, pre-& post-trip hotel, items of a personal nature, If you are a group of 3 or less you will need to provide your own transportation from the Snake to the Lochsa.
In order to minimize the driving time to and from the river, we start our trip in Cambridge, Idaho (two hours northwest of Boise) and end in Lewiston, Idaho. ROW provides transportation from the Boise airport to Cambridge, Idaho for the start of your trip and then to Lewiston, Idaho after the river trip. If you are a group of 3 or less you will need to provide your own transportation from the Snake to the Lochsa.
Meeting Time: Once everyone has arrived in Cambridge, we'll meet you at the Frontier Motel at 8:00 pm to give you your waterproof bags to pack, have an orientation meeting and answer any last-minute questions. This is an important meeting, so please be on time! Early the next morning (usually about 7:30 am) we leave in a van or bus for a two-hour drive northwest to our starting point at Hells Canyon Dam, arriving there about 10 am.
TRAVEL OPTION 1: FLY TO BOISE, ID
Fly into Boise, Idaho the evening prior to your departure date and take the ROW shuttle up to Cambridge. Then after the trip return home via Lewiston, Idaho or Spokane, Washington. Arrive in Boise no later than 4:00 pm Mountain Time the day before your trip. The shuttle van will meet you outside the baggage claim doors in the “taxi” lane at 4:30 pm for an easy two-hour drive to Cambridge. If your ﬂight arrives in Boise early in the day we recommend that you spend extra time exploring Boise rather than going to Cambridge, which is a very small town with few amenities.
If your ﬂight arrives later than 4:00 pm into Boise, you have two options:
Option 1 - Rent a car and drive two hours to Cambridge. Then have it shuttled to the ending point of the trip.
Option 2 - Hire a taxi, Lyft /Uber to take you up to Cambridge. If you are unable to schedule your ﬂight into Boise by 4:00 pm or if your ﬂight arrives late and you need to arrange other transportation, the cost for this transportation will be at your expense.
After your trip you can:
A) Fly out of the Lewiston Airport (Airport shuttle provided free by the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel) to your hometown or next destination. Lewiston is serviced by Alaska Airlines, United, and Delta Air.
B) Take a shuttle van/taxi to Spokane, Washington (two hours north of Lewiston) for other airline selections as Spokane has a much larger airport. If you choose to shuttle to Spokane you can arrange an Uber or use Michelle's Shuttle Service 208-305-5636. Be sure to clarify how many are in your party and how much luggage you may have when reserving with them.
TRAVEL OPTION 2: DRIVE TO CAMBRIDGE
Drive to Cambridge, Idaho, and arrange for the Frontier Motel to shuttle your vehicle north while you are on the river. Plan to arrive in Cambridge in time for the 8:00 pm Orientation meeting. Payment and necessary paperwork for car shuttles are made with the Frontier Motel.
On this 5-day Snake & Lochsa river combo trip, your car will be shuttled to Whitebird, ID for about $125 if you will be driving from the Snake to the Lochsa river. If you have your car shuttled to Heller Bar for the take out you will need a $35 discovery pass. The approximate cost of this shuttle is $225 not including fuel to be paid directly to the Frontier Motel.
ROW Adventures Price Includes: Transportation from Boise airport to Cambridge and then onto Hells Canyon Dam; and from our take out point at either Pittsburgh Landing on the Snake to the Lochsa; and from the Lochsa to Lewiston at the end of the trip. (If you are driving, then you would drive to Cambridge, and have your car shuttled by the Frontier Motel to White Bird, a town near our Snake take-out, then drive it to the River Dance Lodge or all the way to Lewiston, Idaho.) If you are a group of 3 or less you will need to provide your own transportation from the Snake to the Lochsa. If you fly to Boise please arrive no later than 4pm Mountain Time the day before your trip. A shuttle driver will meet you outside the baggage claim doors in the “taxi lane” at 4:30pm for the easy 2 hour drive to Cambridge.
Here at ROW Adventures, our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our multi-day rafting trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. ROW Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities, and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
- Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
- Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
- Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Packing properly for a river trip is CRITICAL to your enjoyment while on the river. We recommend that you prepare yourself for three basic scenarios:
- A cool day on the river.
- A warm day on the river.
- Time spent lounging at camp.
Take care of these, and you are free to let the river and the canyon work their magic.
Weather in the northwest is unpredictable. You must come prepared for the cold/wet weather and hot/sunny weather – sometimes even on the same day! The following information will help you be prepared for the expected as well as the unexpected events of your trip. You may not use all of the gear listed below, but we recommend bringing it all!
DRYBAGS THAT ROW PROVIDES
One large waterproof bag (16” in diameter x 33” tall) per person. This will contain your sleeping bag as well as your personal clothing and items. This bag is NOT accessible during the day as it goes ahead of the group with our cargo raft.
Note: This bag will also contain additional gear provided by ROW: Sleeping bag, flannel liner & pillow.
A small daypack (9” in diameter x 20” tall) for items you want to access during the day such as rain gear, sunscreen, camera, medications, etc.
WHAT YOU SHOULD PACK:
All of your personal items should be packed into a soft-sided duffle bag approximately 12” x 13” x 24” in size. Due to weight allowances and raft space, please limit your gear to 20-25 pounds. This bag will then go inside of your large waterproof bag provided by ROW.
ITEMS FOR ON THE RIVER
- Two T-Shirts (1 quick dry and 1 cotton for a hot day).
- One light long-sleeved shirt for sun protection and cool evenings. Popular options are a rash guard or sunscreen shirts.
- Two pairs of shorts (nylon quick drying always better than cotton).
- Light pants are great for sun protection or on a windy day. Lightweight zip off pants works great.
- Swimsuit – two-piece suits are easier for women - tankinis and river shorts are a great option.
- One pair of river sandals (must have a secure ankle strap, no flipflops or crocs!) Velcro is okay if in good condition. Popular name brands include Chaco, Teva, Keen, or Merrells. Tennis shoes with polypro socks are a good option if your feet tend to get cold.
- One cap, sun hat or visor (ROW hats are available when you arrive).
ITEMS GOOD TO HAVE IN YOUR DRY BAG ON THE RIVER
- One rain suit, jacket & pants (windbreaker without cotton liner works well, but no cheap ponchos)
- Mid-weight to light-weight long underwear tops and bottoms. Best worn over a swimsuit and undershorts.
- One synthetic or wool mid-weight sweaters for layering on the river on cool days.
- Sunglasses with retaining cord/device
- Bee sting kit for those allergic to bees
- Water bottle with carabiner
- Extra cap, sun hat or visor
ITEMS FOR TIME AT CAMP
- Two Short sleeve shirts (Enjoy clean and comfortable)
- One pair of pants (lightweight nylon, cotton or fleece)
- Pair of shorts
- One synthetic mid-weight sweaters for cool evenings
- Underwear and socks
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra bulb and batteries
- Skin lotion, lip balm, waterproof sunscreen, etc.
- Toilet kit - toothbrush and paste, soap ( biodegradable is best, no soaps can be used in the river), camp towel, washcloth, comb, handkerchief, a small pack of tissues, small mirror, moist towelettes, shaving stuff, feminine sanitary supplies, etc.
- Extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses strongly suggested. ALL glasses need a head strap!
- One pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes for cooler weather and hiking. (We don’t recommend you bring large hiking boots as they take up too much space and aren’t necessary.) Flip-flops/ crocs are also comfortable for easy walking on sandy beaches!
- Stocking Cap/ Beanie for cool nights
ADDITIONAL CLOTHES FOR COOL WEATHER (Early and late season – June & September)
- Two pair wool or polypro socks to wear on the river
- One additional synthetic pile or wool shirt
- Wool or poly gloves & wool or poly cap (like a skiing hat)
- Camera – waterproof digital with extra batteries & memory card recommended. Many guests use smartphones (there is NOT cell service on the river). A waterproof case is also highly recommended for protection and ease of use.
- Paddling Gloves
- Sarong – many uses--a good item to help you cool off if you do not want to swim.
- Sundress for camp
- One female urinary device (allows women to urinate standing up without removing clothing). Silicon or hard plastic ones work great. Popular name brands include Gogirl and Shewee.
- 2-3 Carabiners for clipping items to the boat
- Reusable wet bags (2-3 for separating dirty/wet clothes in your waterproof bag)
- Cards, games, books, musical instruments, journals
- Fishing gear and Idaho fishing license if you plan to fish - must be in a protective case & disassembled. Only catch and release fishing with single barbless hooks is allowed!!
LAYERING FOR OUTDOOR COMFORT
Clothing layers are the thermostat of the wilderness. As you get ready for your river trip, think about dressing in layers. By adding and subtracting layers you can keep yourself perfectly comfortable. If you were to look into the dry bags of a well-prepared river guide you would see packing for three weather scenarios -- cold, wet days; hot, summer days; and cool evenings and mornings in camp. All of your on-river clothing should be made from synthetic fabrics with names like fleece, pile, polypropylene, Capilene™ or polyester. A cotton T-shirt is used occasionally on hot, sunny days, but cotton clothing is best saved for on-shore camp use.
- LAYER #1: The layer next to your skin should be close-fitting and thin. Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and synthetic or wool shirt as a base layer. You do not want to wear cotton on the river on cool rainy days. The evaporation of water from a wet cotton layer will actually make you colder! Synthetic fibers maintain insulative properties when wet and "wick" moisture away from your skin.
- LAYER #2: The next layer should also be made of a synthetic fiber, but should be a bit heavier in weight. If you get too warm you can always peel this layer off.
- LAYER #3: The outer layer is what is known as the "barrier" layer. This layer should be waterproof and loose-fitting enough to give you a good range of motion. The idea of this layer is to seal out water, and seal in the warmth generated by you and insulated by layers # 1 and # 2. A good rain suit can do the job, or a good paddling jacket and pants. Not only will this protect you from rainstorms, but chilly water temperatures when running rapids as well!
ROW provides Farmer John style wetsuits for our cold weather trips in May/June (long legs, but no sleeves). These are often worn with your polypro long underwear underneath for extra warmth. You will still need your fleece sweater and rain jacket for warmth on your upper body. Wool or fleece socks can also be worn with the booties if your feet tend to get cold.
If you plan to fish, please bring your own fishing gear (with a protective case), as we do not have any to loan. The Snake River runs between Oregon and Idaho, Idaho sits on one side of the river and Oregon on the other. A fishing license is required to fish. Most often ROW will camp on the Oregon side of the river, therefore, an OREGON fishing license is best. You can pre-purchase an Oregon license by visiting the https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license website. Some guests will purchase both Oregon and Idaho. You can purchase an Idaho license online https://idfg.idaho.gov/licenses.
LIQUOR AND PREFERED BEVERAGES
ROW packs moderate quantity of soft drinks as well as wine and beer for legal age guests. If you bring liquor, please give it to your guide in a labeled plastic container. Beer should be in cans - No glass beer bottles please. Bottled wine is fine. All liquors in IDAHO are sold in State Liquor Stores with limited hours. Please be aware we have limited space on our rafts therefore moderate quantities, please. If you are arriving after 7 pm BE SURE TO PURCHASE your liquor at home and bring it with you.
Like anyone in the service business, river and outdoor adventure guides appreciate gratuities. Our guides are some of the best and most highly trained in the business. They not only guide your raft down the river, but set up camp, cook and serve gourmet meals, provide interpretation on the natural and cultural history of the area and strive to provide the highest level of hospitality. Tipping is ultimately a personal decision, however if you appreciate the service your guides provided, then as a guideline we suggest a gratuity of 10-20% of the trip price.
Tips can be given to the ROW Team Leader at the end of the trip in the form of cash or personal check. The Team Leader distributes them equally among the guides and gives a portion to ROW’s behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes like our drivers and food shoppers.
Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water, by Marc Reisner (Penguin Books).
This is an enlightening and easy to read book about water politics in the West. It does not contain much about Idaho – but is still a must read – especially with the current debate over removing the four lower Snake River dams. Highly recommended.
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, a poem by Robert Penn Warren (Random House, Inc.)
Compact poem with history about Chief Joseph.
Children of Grace, by Bruce Hampton, Henry, Holt Publishers, 1994
(out of print as of March 1998) – but in ROW founder, Peter Grubb’s opinion, one of the best! Look for it at used bookstores or try www.bibliofind.com. If you're only going to read book about the Nez Perce and the war of 1879, this is the one. Highly recommended. (Out of print, available online)
Ferryboats of Idaho, by James Huntley (1979). (Out of print, available online)
Home Below Hell’s Canyon, by Grace Jordan (University of Nebraska Press).
A story by Grace Jordan who lived in Hells Canyon with her family in the 1930s. Interesting depiction of life as a homesteader.
I Will Fight No More Forever, by Merril Beal (1966). A book about Chief Joseph and his tribe, the Nez Perce.
Idaho Chinese Lore, by Sister M. Alfreda Elsensoln (Idaho Corporation of Benedictine Sisters and printed by The Caxton Printers, Ltd. In Caldwell, 1970).
Try your local library. (Out of print, available online)
Idaho for the Curious: A Guide, by Cort Conley (Backeddy Books).
This thick book is a great resource for the curious. Conley follows the roads and relates the natural and human history of the areas.
Idaho Loners, by Cort Conley (Backeddy Books, 1994).
An in-depth look into the lives of the hermits, solitaries and individualists that shaped Idaho’s history. Fun, intriguing, biographical reading. Highly recommended.
Indians of Idaho, by Deward E. Walker Jr. (University Press of Idaho).
Islands & Rapids, by Tracy Vallier (Confluence Press, Lewis & Clark State College, 1998).
A geologic story of Hells Canyon. It tells the story of the canyon’s geologic evolution and includes a mile-by-mile guide to the major geologic features from Oxbow, Oregon to the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers. A must read for all guides. Highly recommended.
Myths of the Idaho Indians, by Deward E. Walker Jr. (University Press of Idaho, 1982). (Out of print, available online)
Nez Perce Coyote Tales, by D. Walker (University of Oklahoma Press, 1994).
Rivers of the West - A Guide to the Geology & History, by Elizabeth L. Orr & William N. Orr. (Out of print, available online)
Roadside Geology of Idaho, by David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman (Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1989).
Few states pack so many different rocks into such a small area as Idaho, the book covers this unique occurrence in an exciting geologic story.
Roadside History of Idaho, by Betty Derig (Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1996). “The best way to enjoy Idaho’s rich heritage is to visit the sites where history happened”. This book transports you to those places through well-researched, well-told text and vivid historical photographs.
Salmon And His People, by Dan Landeen and Allen Pinkham. (Confluence Press, Lewis & Clark State College, 1999).
Fish & Fishing in Nez Perce Culture, illustrated with 200 color photographs as well as dozens of historic images to chronicle the importance of fish and fishing to the Nez Perce people. This books give you a real sense of how important the Salmon were and are to the Nez Perce. Highly recommended. (Out of print, available online)
Snake River Of Hells Canyon, by Johnny Carrey, Cort Conley, and Ace Barton (Backeddy Books, 1978).
This is probably the best book to deepen one’s appreciation of Hells Canyon and the Snake River.
Snake River: Window to the West, by Tim Palmer (Island Press).
This book is entertaining and well written. It is both a personal account of a river trip and a discussion of policy affecting the Snake River. If you are interested in the development of hydroelectric projects on the Snake, read this book. (Out of print, available online)
- Snake: The Plain And Its People, by Todd Shallat (Boise State University, 1995).
This books explores the physical and ecological roots of Idaho civilization through science, social science, photography and art.
Sources of the River, by Jack Nisbet (Sasquatch Books, 1994)
Jack re-creates the life and times of David Thompson – fur trader, explorer, surveyor, and mapmaker who blazed the way West before Lewis and Clark. As a result of adding his own observations Jack has created a fascinating story of two men discovering the Northwest Territory almost two hundred years apart. (Author Jack Nisbet lives in Spokane and has traveled the Missouri River as a ROW interpretive guest.) Highly recommended. (Out of print, available online)
The Biography of a Grizzly, by Ernest Thompson Seton (University of Nebraska Press, 1987).
Seton wrote over 60 books around the turn of the century and was the main person to bring to Western consciousness the idea of wild animals having personalities and character, sharing life struggles similar to humans. This book is the story of the life of a grizzly cub who grows up alone in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming. Highly recommended. (Out of print, available online)
- The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter (University of New Mexico Press, 1976).
The true story of a Cherokee boy’s unique education in the 1930’s. A wonderful book that shows the stark contrast between the values, awareness and relationship with nature of the Indians versus those of white people. Highly recommended
The River Reader, by John A. Murray (The Lyons Press, 1998). A collection of writings that is composed of both classic selections and contemporary writings from twenty-two diverse writers that are devoted to a single environmental subject.
The Story of Hells Canyon, by Gerald J. Tudker (Sheep Creek Publishing) (Out of print, available online)
The Weiser Indians: Shoshoni Peacemakers, by Hank Corless (The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1996).
“This book documents Indian-white relations in the southwestern Idaho during the time of initial white encroachment onto Indian lands. It also offers a perspective on all native peoples of the northern Great Basin”. Besides that it illustrates the daily life and culture of an Idaho Indian tribe around the time of the first settlement of Idaho by white people. Highly recommended (Out of print, available online)
Thunder in the Mountains: The Story of the Nez Perce Wars, by Ronald K. Fisher (Alpha Omega Publishers.)
Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose (Simon & Schuster, 1996).
A must read! A poignant human drama of Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the opening of the American West. This book is one of the main reasons so many people are intrigued by the Lewis and Clark story. Highly recommended.
The Lochsa Story: Land Ethics in the Bitterroot Mountains by Bud Moore
Caulked Boots and other Northwest Writings by Bert Russell
Watch - Camping with ROW Adventures
Watch - Bathroom Facilities on the River
Watch - Packing for a Day on the River
Boise Guide - ROW's short guide to Boise Idaho
Lewiston Guide - What to do near Lewiston Idaho
White Water Craft Guide - Types of crafts we utilize on river trips
Understanding Leave No Trace on the River - Helpful ways to travel through river environments sustainably.
The 6 Best Wilderness Multi-Day Whitewater Rafting Trips in Idaho - Take a closer look at which trip might be best for you.
Feminine Hygiene Tips for River Trips - Helpful tips for women while on the river.
Understanding Whitewater Classification - Learn how to understand the whitewater grading system.
What Class Rapids are on the Lochsa River - Read up on the rapids you'll experience on the Lochsa River.
Terms & Conditions
Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.